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Human Resources Administrator

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time, Part Time

In Demand

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As a member of the military, Human Resources Administrators provide administrative and general human resources support to all military activities.

The primary duties of a Human Resources Administrator are to provide:

  • Human resources administration and services
  • Administration of pay and allowances
  • Automated pay systems and information management
  • Maintenance of personnel records

Work environment

Human Resources Administrators are employed at all Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) bases in Canada, on ships, and overseas, in support of the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations. They may also serve in special operation units, medical organizations, recruiting offices, schools, reserve units, NATO/UN positions, and other specialized units throughout the CAF. Opportunities are also available with embassies in countries where Canada has a military attaché.

If you chose a career in the Regular Force, upon completion of all required training, you will be assigned to your first base. While there is some flexibility with regards to postings (relocations), accommodations can’t always be made, and therefore, you can likely expect to move at some point in your career. However, if you decide to join the Primary Reserve Force, you will do so through a specific Reserve unit. Outside of training, your chosen Reserve unit will be your workplace on a part time basis, and you will not be obligated to relocate to a different base. As part of the Primary Reserve Force, you typically work one night per week and some weekends as a minimum with possibilities of full-time employment.

Career Overview


Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting Videos




Reviewed – 29 Mar 23


CORPORAL NATALIE FERLAND: I'm Corporal Natalie Ferland from Petitcodiac, New Brunswick, a Human Resources Administrator currently serving at 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron in Petawawa, Ontario.


NARRATOR: Human Resources Administrators – or HRAs for short – handle the administrative paperwork for all Canadian Armed Forces personnel from the day they walk into a recruiting centre, right up to the day that they retire. They work with everyone from new recruits right up to the senior-most Generals, no matter their military occupation. 


CORPORAL NATALIE FERLAND: The role of a Human Resources Administrator in the Canadian Armed Forces is to manage members’ PERS files, manage their pay, do terms-of-service contracts, handle promotions, allowances, handling counter service for any inquiries that members have about their PERS file or about their pay – about anything in general, honestly. We get leaned on for support in many facets and we're always ready to help.

NARRATOR: They also prepare members administratively for deployment on overseas taskings or domestic exercises, from dealing with official travel, to briefing members on entitlements and benefits, and ensuring that all their personal documents are up-to-date so that there are no issues or concerns while members are away from home. HRAs are an integral part of the CAF, whose administrative support allows other members to focus on their primary tasks. 


CORPORAL NATALIE FERLAND: And it is our job to ensure that they are completely supported in any administrative way that they need so that they can do their job properly and not have to worry about getting paid or making sure their PERS file is in order.


NARRATOR: On exercise, they could find themselves in a field office in a tent or on a ship doing their administrative work, or participating in other aspects of the exercise, such as set-up and tear-down, security, and other general duties expected of all CAF members. 


CORPORAL NATALIE FERLAND: With the task of being an HRA, a lot of it is sort of behind-the-scenes work, so members don't really see everything that we do for them. But it's not really about that. Being a supporter by trade, you have to be a supporter by nature, and you do get appreciated for everything you do, just like every other trade in the Forces.


NARRATOR: In addition to the support HRAs provide here at home, there are ample opportunities to deploy in support of Canadian Armed Forces operations and exercises both here in Canada and around the world.


CORPORAL NATALIE FERLAND: I'd say the coolest part of this job is the people you meet. The amount of interesting people that come to the counter every day with their varied stories and experiences – it's an experience like no other. It's very unique. And these people do become your family.


NARRATOR: Once they complete their training, HRAs will be posted to one of the many Canadian Armed Forces bases and operational units across Canada. No matter what uniform they are wearing, there are opportunities for employment at every base and Wing, on ships, overseas, or even with the Special Operations Forces. 

Building on what they learned on their trade qualification course, new HRAs gradually expand their skillset under the supervision of more senior colleagues.


CORPORAL NATALIE FERLAND: You're definitely not left out in a lurch. You're supported very well. It’s a really close-knit community and we want each other to succeed. So when you get to your unit, you are trained by your teammates in how to apply all of the skills you just learned. 


NARRATOR: As their careers develop, Human Resources Administrators may be offered opportunities to develop specialized skills in areas like Recruiting, Release, Deployed Operations, Engineering Support, or Compliance and Verification.


There are also opportunities for HRAs in the Primary Reserve, serving part-time in their local community while going to school or working at a civilian job. 



CORPORAL NATALIE FERLAND: I have high hopes for my career. I'm hoping to make this a lifetime career for myself just because of how varied the work is and again, the incredible people. It's an experience like no other. And I'm hoping that I can move up through the ranks and experience different types of units and really make sure I'm the most well-rounded HRA that I can be – and be able to provide the support to my to-be subordinates like I was supported when I came up through the ranks.


Related Civilian Occupations

  • Records Administrator
  • Data Entry Supervisor
  • Receptionist
  • Office Manager
  • Executive Assistant
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Information Management Technician


The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course (BMQ), or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec or Borden, Ontario. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) physical fitness standard. As a result, the training is physically demanding, but achievable. During the first weeks of BMQ each Human Resources Administrator (HRA) recruit will select, when possible, a unit for their first posting in the location of their choice.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Upon graduation from BMQ, Human Resources Administrators are posted, when possible, to the unit they selected during the first weeks of BMQ. Over approximately the next 6 months, they will be learning in the workplace about:

  • Process correspondence 
  • Creating a Unit Personnel File 
  • Creating a Pay File
  • Creating a Leave Record 
  • Process a Posting 
  • Process Payroll accuracy 
  • Process Leave 
  • Process a Rank Change
  • Process a Member’s Terms of Service 
  • Processing Medals, Honours and Awards
  • Modify a Marital Status 
  • Modify a Dependent

Human Resources Administrators may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and/or on-the-job training, including:

  • Recruiting Administration
  • Release Administration
  • Deployed Operations
  • Compliance and Verification

As they progress in their career, Human Resources Administrators who demonstrate the required ability and potential may be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

  • Policy, compensation and benefits analysis
  • Civilian Personnel Management
  • Military Personnel Management

Entry plans

No previous work experience or career related skills are required. CAF recruiters can help you decide if your personal interests and attributes match the criteria for this occupation.

The minimum required education to apply for this occupation is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondary 4 in Quebec with Grade 10 Applied Math (Math 416 / CST 4 in Quebec) and Grade 10 (Secondary 4) English or French.

Foreign education may be accepted.

Part time options

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or subject to a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.

Human Resources Administrators may serve with the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy, or the Royal Canadian Air Force and experience the unique challenges associated with these environments. They can be employed providing administrative support to military activities. When they are employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve at a CAF headquarters, home port or unit located within Canada.

Find a Recruiting Centre

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic training, occupational training for Human Resources Administrators takes about 12 weeks and may be conducted at the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre in Borden, Ontario.

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 92.8% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.